Thursday, August 13, 2009

Furniture painting tutorial

No matter how easy a job may seem, if you want to do it right you will need to put some effort into it. The same goes for painting. The secret lies in good preparation. Make sure that you work with quality tools, starting with paint, brushes and sealants. (Bad quality material will make your job far more difficult and the end result may not be up to your standards). Also, don’t forget to take your time, work at your own leisure and most importantly have patience and have fun!

TIP: If you are a novice, chose a smaller project, like a simple chair, desk or a stool. The simpler the lines, the greater chance at success.

1. Make sure that the surface is well prepped. Remove all the hardware and if you won’t be putting it back then fill all the holes with the wood filler. Remove any dirt, tape off the areas that you wish to protect, sand the piece, then sand it some more and prime if necessary.

Sandpaper comes in different grit designations - the lower the designation the coarser the paper. For most jobs using 120 grit paper will do, but for surfaces that were covered with several coats of paint I would resort to 100 or 80 grit. For more info on grit sizing click here.

Priming is optional, but if the surface is stained or if you want to achieve even finish throughout, I certainly recommend it. Before priming or painting, make sure that all the dust has been removed and that the surface is clean and smooth. The best way to ensure that the surface is clean is to use a tack cloth that you can find at your local hardware store.

2. Your surface is ready to receive the first coat of paint now. I usually put two coats of indoor latex paint, but if you think you need one more, go for it. You can use a small foam roller or a variety of brushes for your job. While rollers do a great job on larger surfaces, the brushes are excellent for cutting in all the corners and crevices. When purchasing brushes, talk to the sales people, describe your project and they will be able to give you a good advice.

TIP: In my experience, foam brushes tend to leave less brush marks and cause less drips then their “hairy” alternatives.

3. Between coats I sand the surface lightly with a 120 grit paper to make sure that the next coat of paint adheres better. Wait for the paint to dry completely before applying the sealant. If you are going for the distressed vintage look, use the sand paper to distress the surface in places where it would get most wear. I would not use a mechanical sander at this point as it does not allow for much control.

4. After you have achieved the desired look, you can proceed with protecting the surface.There is a variety of options out there of which I use the following two:
a)Clear water-based polyurethane finish – it dries quickly and provides good durability
b)Paste finishing wax - protects and adds lustre to any stained or finished wood surface (using wax finish will give your furniture a much softer look)

5. Once the top coat is dry, clean the surface once more with a lint free rag, remove all the tape and add hardware.

TIP: Wash your brushes, paint trays and rollers thoroughly after use. It will save you some $$ and a trip to the hardware store.

Et VoilĂ !, this concludes our furniture painting tutorial.

If you still believe that this is more than you are willing to cope with, give me a call or send me an email. I will be happy to help you with your next painting job.

TO RECAP: For your painting job you will need the following supplies:
Painter’s tape
Sand paper
Tack cloth
Paint tray
Rollers and brushes

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Jenna! I have several pieces of furniture I want to paint. Your basic how-to is just what I needed to get motivated!